Today, there are more and more jobs for people working in the creative sector. One of the great advantages of being a creative artist – writer, editor, graphic designer, or any other self-employed or freelancer – is that we can do our job from home if we choose to (and if the company you work for gives you that luxury). Whether it’s about working from home from time to time, or on a regular basis, anyone who has experience with it will acknowledge that you’re often more distracted or disturbed at home than at the office.
To work from home in the most productive way possible, you need to create a certain atmosphere and space in your home to finish your projects and make your working day run as smoothly as possible. We’ve put together some instructions for creating a home-working environment that will maximize your productivity.
Create a workspace
Our favourite part of the home working style – creating your perfect workspace. Most freelancers today use laptops, so your desk doesn’t have to be big unless you want it to be. This part of designing the perfect home-working environment is completely personal. We’ve found that those who take the time to choose a decent desk, the right office supplies, and the perfect decorative accents for the desk and walls, will work more productively because the workspace represents them and what they do.
Creating a home office means giving up part of your home for work, allocating a space for the sole purpose of working as you would otherwise do in an ordinary office where your colleagues are all doing the same. Creating a space that’s all yours gives you the motivation to stay in this comfortable space, increases your productivity, and makes you less inclined to wander to other (unproductive) rooms in your home.
Pretend you’re in the office
The most important thing when working from home is to pretend to be in the office. This means that you have to answer personal phone calls as if you were in the office, which usually means that the phone calls are short and concise if you pick up the phone at all. If you decide to take a lunch break, as you do at work, make sure those breaks don’t last for hours. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re at home. However, you should also set the beginning and end of your work day. It’s also easy to work too many hours during the day. Finally, again, prepare your work according to the deadline like you would at the office, and make sure that your prioritisation doesn’t suffer from being at home.
Leave the television off and leave the laundry in the laundry basket
This important tip is part of ‘pretending to be in the office’: don’t get distracted by household tasks. It’s easy to be tempted to turn on the television so you have some background noise (if you like), to throw in a load of laundry or cook. Working from home will always involve distractions, so you should try to avoid them as much as possible. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself wasting too much time and getting nothing done.
Despite the fact that working from home is flexible and convenient, and many of us are able to do the housework in addition to work (of course depending on the type of work and our individual working methods), most of us aren’t able to multitask that way, resulting in much lower productivity than if we were in the office. If you consider the tips we have given you, and do your best to implement them at home, we’re confident that your level of productivity will increase dramatically.